If you are a teacher, then it’s common knowledge that a lot goes down in the bathroom. I’m not oblivious to it, but it can be easy to overlook when you are busy putting out fires right in front of you. That’s why I think that I need to entertain a different approach to the topic. When students ask me if they can use the bathroom, I no longer need to respond “yes” or “no.” Rather, I need to get into the habit of replying, “For what?” Because students are certainly using the bathroom, but not exactly for honorary reasons. Allow me to elaborate:
Last Friday, Matthew found himself back in the principal’s office again. This time, however, it wasn’t for getting angry and punching cinderblock walls or body slamming kids in the hallway. At least we can celebrate that much (silver linings, right?). This matter was somewhat worse. Matthew had been caught several times on camera sneaking into the bathroom before classes each morning . . . with his girlfriend. Our administration sat Matthew and his girlfriend down and asked them what was going on. They lied and said that nothing had happened. Our admin team pressed harder, laying out the various consequences for such actions and how telling the truth would help alleviate some of those consequences. Matthew admitted that okay, yeah a little something had happened. Our team then found naked pictures of a boy on Matthew’s girlfriend’s phone and questioned even further. Matthew finally confessed that, okay yeah a lot had happened. It took a while, but they ended up coming clean about every sexual act that they had committed in the bathroom (except for sending naked pictures, which Matthew vehemently denied because he was “not that stupid to do something crazy like that”).
It was a long, drawn-out ordeal that involved a lot of investigating, but it concluded with Matthew and his girlfriend getting suspended for three days and a no-contact order issued to both of them by the judge.
Oh, the days when you needed to “use the bathroom” to simply relieve yourself. (sigh)